By KHRISNA VIRGIL
Tribune Staff Reporter
PLP Members of Parliament came to the defence of controversial Grand Bahama Urban Renewal deputy director Michelle Reckley in the House of Assembly yesterday.
Mrs Reckley came under scrutiny in The Tribune’s Tuesday editorial for failing to meet with the head of Urban Renewal Cynthia “Mother” Pratt.
Mrs Reckley was reported to have been campaigning with “Yes Vote” officials in Abaco when “Mother” Pratt visited Freeport. Mrs Pratt, former deputy prime minister now co-chairman of the Urban Renewal programme, instructed her permanent secretary to write a letter reprimanding Mrs Reckley for ordering police officers around, informing her that the officers were in charge of Urban Renewal in Grand Bahama. She reminded Mrs Reckley that there is “no Urban Renewal without the police.”
Mrs Pratt was also “disturbed ” to see civilian officers dressed in yellow on the job.” Yellow is the party colour of the PLP.
“She reminded the civilians that the Urban Renewal Commission, as per the Prime Minister’s directive, is a-political. It represents no political party, but all Bahamians.”
It has been said that the two women have been at odd for various reasons.
Yesterday Fred Mitchell, Fox Hill MP, and deputy Prime Minister Philip “Brave” Davis insisted that this newspaper’s publisher Eileen Dupuch Carron has over the years in her writings been critical of the PLP, which even suggested that she was a racist.
Standing before colleagues, Mr Davis said he was not pleased that the editorial pinpointed several shortcomings of Mrs Reckley to act effectively in the high Urban Renewal post.
“What I do decry,” he said, “is the continual demeaning of segments of our society particularly when they are of the African diaspora and particularly even if they are not of the African diaspora, but once they support the PLP.
“Because it is the Progressive Liberal Party, they hold us at a higher standard and I embrace that.”
Mr Davis claimed that Mrs Reckley had permission to accompany Grand Bahama Minister Michael Darville on government business. However, The Tribune has learned that Mrs Reckley was campaigning with “Vote Yes” officials in the run-up to the gaming referendum.
Mr Mitchell later said that while Mrs Reckley can be criticised for whatever reason, it is important that she be treated with dignity.
“It seems to me,” he said, “that every time this type of snide nasty commentary goes to the dignity of an individual I think we need to stand up and say something about it to defend it because the individual themself might not be able to say so.
“But what strikes me about these kinds of acts that continue from that particular editor, is as I recall these words have been used to describe people who are connected to us in various ways. One time we were monkeys, another time we were skunks and another time we were crabs.”